World Championship Snowmobile Derby - History


The first event was held in 1964. The event was founded by innkeeper John Alward, his wife Betty, and their friend Walter Goldsworthy. Alward's son Jake said "We had a couple of snowmobiles in the garage, and Dad figured more than a few other people did, too. He decided to have a rally." The event was a cross country race run on and around Dollar Lake. Many snowmobiles were unable to climb a small hill. The first winner was an eighth grade student named Stan Hayes, who won the marquee race in a 9 horsepower sled. The Alward's held the race at their inn in 1965 before passing it on to the Eagle River Lions Club. The Lions Club trademarked the term "World Championship Snowmobile Derby".

The 1968 derby was broadcast on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Numerous guests attended the event, including Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke and Fuzzy Thurston from the Super Bowl II Green Bay Packers championship team. The track was reconfigured to a 0.5 mile high banked oval in 1974.

The current event features 1400+ entrants racing snocross or on the oval track in vintage and modern snowmobiles. 30,000 spectators frequently attend the event.

Read more about this topic:  World Championship Snowmobile Derby

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